Turnaround Big Qualitative Research Projects with Little Time

Even when the end of the year isn’t fast approaching, it’s easy to feel like time is running out — especially when you’re managing multiple consumer conversation projects at the same time.

For agencies and consultancies, untangling the logistical knots of managing multiple moderators, respondents and project managers can be a huge challenge to overcome. 

Whether you want to scale a project or need more tools on an ad hoc basis, you’ll need a purpose-built platform that can help you find quality respondents, encourage interaction, provide live support if you need it, and can meet privacy and security compliance standards. 

The good news: self-service qualitative research is simple with the right tools. As more insights teams migrated in-person focus groups and in-depth interviews online in the past few years, we developed more features to anticipate the most common missteps insights professionals make when running qualitative research by themselves.

“It’s never been more important to take the friction out of understanding consumers better through live conversations and scaling the insights,” said Jim Longo, Discuss Co-founder and Chief Strategy Officer.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, consumer spending online steadily rose and is currently higher than pre-pandemic levels by 30% according to a McKinsey report.

“As we’ve seen through and as a result of the pandemic and the ripple effects, there’s been a huge shift in consumer behavior and expectations. Competitive organizations know that it’s not enough to rely on quantitative data, you need to understand the ‘why,’ ‘where,’ ‘how,’ and ‘whom’ of buying behavior.” 

Kirk O’Connor, Discuss Head of Platform Sales, agrees. “For agencies and consultancies, we have seen an overwhelming appreciation for what Discuss has built so that organizations can better understand consumers. They appreciate the ease of use of our platform. As a result, stress and workload are reduced, while enhancing and improving the experience delivered to clients.”

How do leading agencies and consultancies do it? Below, find three key steps to get started in streamlining pre-session setup:


  • Protect personal identifiable information (PII). Not only for respondents and recruiters, but for clients joining to observe and, in some cases, multiple recruiters needed on the same project. It’s also important to note that qualitative data that fits within the regulatory frameworks of CCPA and GDPR is highlight valuable in the cookie-less, connected future.
  • Hold a pre-session tech check. Avoid issues before they happen by flagging the most common mishaps upfront. Rather than crossing your fingers and hoping that all goes according to plan the day of your sessions, work with a platform that provides ways to test recruits, moderators and observers in advance. This makes the sessions much less stressful.
  • Get notified about repeat participants. One landmine that can be avoided through the right tech platform is that of the professional respondent. Unfortunately repeat participants have plagued the market research industry for years, skewing countless qualitative analyses. With the right platform, you’re given the opportunity to allow the respondent to continue with your project or to choose a replacement well in advance of the scheduled session. 


To see our complete checklist of pre-, live, and post-session best practices that you need to know to successfully manage self-service research projects, watch Jim and Kirk’s recent webinar on InsightPlatforms.com: “Online, self-service online qualitative research is here: How to Turnaround Big Projects in Little Time.” 


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